Welcome to the Jam

Just based upon the genre of movie promoted, trailers take vastly different styles in terms of lighting, music, and shots and transitions. In a given genre, these stylistic options, for the most part, remain the same. For example, horror films utilize dark lighting, subtle, atonal music, and a mixture of quick cuts to give the feeling of panic as in Insidious (James Wan), while romantic comedies use an upbeat song and longer cuts as well as humor throughout like in Crazy Stupid Love (Glenn Ficarra, John Requa) to promote their films. The genre that I most analyzed, sports dramas, primarily use music and lighting to set the tone of the trailer, as well as an rapid shot sequence to display intensity.

Trailers for Creed (Ryan Coogler) provide an excellent example of this. Initially, the scenes fade in at the start with dark lighting and a buildup of music. The music and shot cuts simultaneously, and the shots become longer and music more mellow and softer with dark lighting still prevalent. The music picks up again with a quicker, more upbeat tempo, typically hip-hop, and the shots cut rapidly on beat with the music. Additionally, the lighting gets brighter. The music builds up again, and once again the music and shot cut simultaneously, revealing the movie title. These types of trailers intend to give the film an intensity unlike other genres which is understandable considering the majority of sports dramas contain underdog stories. For the most part, characters speak over scenes rather than contain clips where the speaker is actually talking. The length of the sports drama movies averaged about two minutes with minimal text during the actual trailer content.

The trailer of the film I intend to remake, Space Jam (Joe Pytka), contains a very upbeat, happy soundtrack and invokes kid-friendly humor throughout the trailer. It is very reminiscent of typical trailers I watched growing up where the narrator laid out the majority of the plot. I noticed that, in just going a few years back, the majority of genres used narrators during trailers. Additionally, the trailer utilized text often, contrasting with the trailers for inspirational sports dramas. This aspect will be dropped in the remixed trailer as well as the soundtrack. Of the many recut trailers I viewed, all of them accurately depicted the genre they became. Most notably, the music and the shot length correlated to the target genre, so this is important as these two aspects significantly influence how the trailer comes across.

Trailers: Creed, Southpaw, The Fighter, Warrior, ConcussionSpace Jam, Insidious, Crazy Stupid Love

Recut Trailers: High School Musical (50 Shades of Grey Style; teen romantic comedy musical to adult) Dumb and Dumber (comedy to thriller), Star Wars (Science fiction/action to action comedy)

This entry was posted in Blog #4. Deconstructing Movie Trailers. Bookmark the permalink.

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